Reading/English Language Arts

Capital’s English/Language Arts curriculum is designed to develop reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that are aligned with state and national Common Core State Standards (CCSS) standards for English Language Arts (ELA). Capital School District follows the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA). These shared expectations create a rigorous picture of what young people must know and be able to do in order to compete successfully in college, the workplace, and in our global community.

The teaching and learning in English/Language Arts classrooms is delivered in an integrated manner often across content areas while focused on the areas of reading fluency and comprehension, writing, listening, speaking, literature, research, and language usage. 
Reading and writing for a variety of purposes, speaking confidently, and listening effectively are all very important parts of literacy development. 

Listed below are instructional highlights for ELA as well as links to more detailed information.


  • The standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read and comprehend.
  • By reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.
  • Certain critical types of content are mandated for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare.


  • Students engage in the writing process for various purposes and audiences with a focus on narrative, opinion, and informative/explanatory writing. 
  • The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing – a basic form of argument – extending down into the earliest grades.
  • Research – both short, focused projects (such as those commonly required in the workplace) and in depth research – is emphasized.

Speaking and Listening

  • Students gain, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas, and evidence through listening and speaking as well as through media.
  • An important focus is academic discussion in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings. Through formal presentations and informal discussion students collaborate to answer questions, build understanding, and solve problems.


  • Students grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading that steadily expands their repertoire of words, phrases and understanding of language.
  • Vocabulary and conventions are treated in their own strand not because skills in these areas should be handled in isolation but because their use extends across reading, writing, speaking, and listening into other content areas.

Media and Technology

  • Just as media and technology are integrated in school and life in the twenty-first century, skills related to media use (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards.
  • Students use technology resources, work both independently and collaboratively with peers. 

Delaware’s Common Core State Standards for ELA
Common Core State Standards Initiative: ELA Link to Website 
Delaware Standards and Instruction: ELA Language Arts

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